I remembered those days when Mom and I went to a market 4am in the morning to buy goods, vegetables, meat and any recipes for her small restaurant business. The reason why I go with her was to eat puto-maya and drink hot tsokolate, in her friend’s stall, which I considered as a PERFECT COMBO. No doubt, these became two of my favorite Filipino delicacies.
Puto-maya, a type of rice cake which originated from Cebu, is made of glutinous rice, fresh ginger and sweetened milk. According from what I have read, the well-loved kakanin is the perfect partner for Filipino hot tsokolate because they complement each other’s taste.
Tsokolate, on the other hand, is made with tablea (chocolate tablets), and tempered with milk and sugar.
In Davao City, the best place to have this perfect combination is at the Agdao Public Market. The place was too crowded, full of different stalls, and I could not honestly say that it was a hundred percent hygienic since it’s a public market. My friends and I went to a food spot named, Novo Ecijano Eatery, where we found the Filipino delicacies mentioned above. The place was clean and the service crews were all disciplined and kind.
These combination of Filipino delicacies were good especially when the rain falls so hard and all you wanted to do is to lie down in bed, cover your body with a blanket and read a book.
Puto-maya costs 10 pesos
Tsokolate costs 10 pesos as well, with or without milk.
This blog post specifically talks about my two friends Remel and his wife, Catherine who will migrate this 15th of June 2017 to Canada. As you observed, I have mentioned in my previous blog posts that these good people will leave Philippines and it honestly made me unhappy, after knowing that they need to move there. They became my second family especially Remel, who treated me like a real brother for almost 2 years and who’s always ready to listen whenever I have something to share; and Catherine, who became one of my close friends in the church.
June 4, Sunday. The day my friend, Remel, stated his gratitude to all the members of the church. He was crying and unable to fully express what he wanted to say, everyone were saddened.
June 8, Thursday. Remel, invited me to join their farewell party and at the same time, to celebrate. I hesitated to say yes because I knew it’s not going to be an ordinary moment for them and for their loved ones─for us. I imagined myself giving a farewell message and I could not stop my tears from falling, hard to speak─ to breathe. I declined the invitation, and I reasoned out that I have few tasks to do in school. I was afraid and I didn’t want them to see me in my weakest side.
June 9, Friday. I received information from a friend that they will spend the whole night at Gepaya family’s home, I hesitated again.
It was 4pm when I unexpectedly got a text message from Remel, telling me that I need to go to Abreeza as soon as possible; Catherine and her friend, Adah was also there. So, I immediately went to the said place. First, we ate in J.CO wherein we laughed the whole time, recalled memories and funny moments; second, we had a dinner in a Korean Restaurant, which actually was my first time because I’m not really in to Korean delicacies and we found out that every food served were all delicious, and unusual. We had an opportunity to live their culture for at least an hour.
9pm, we went to their home together and I decided to sleep there the whole night, to be with them while they’re still here.
11pm, he called me upstairs and gave me the inks of his Parker pens and some of his humorous books, which I liked most.
June 10, Saturday. We had a priesthood activity somewhere in Pindasan. We bond for the last time with one of the quorum members, Remel. He said that he will surely miss the church, the members and of course his friends and family. We had fun, yes we were all tired yet happy.
June 11, Sunday. Their last Sunday in the church. We took pictures together with their other friends who became so emotional.
2pm, Remel, texted me again to go in their house at exactly 6pm because he said that they will cook spaghetti (which was honestly, one of my favorite foods). Another text from him popped-up in my phone telling me to pack-up all my things, and asked me to stay in their house, together with their family, to go with them in the airport, on Monday morning. As I arrived in their house, all I felt was deep sadness─ mixedemotions, I felt so heavy.
June 12, Monday. This was the day. I’m not ready. We were not ready. And it’s rainingoutside. The weather was too cold. As I woke up 5am, I’ve seen them preparing all their bags, I could not feel anything, it seemed like a bucket of tears will drop in my eyes. They were both sad and excited, they tried not to cry.
They said goodbye to Marcy and Bella, their two dogs; to Christian (Catherine’s elder brother) and to Benjamin (Catherine’s in-law) who decided not to go with us in the airport. I was the only one there who’s apparently not part of their family but they treated me as one.
7:30am, we arrived in the airport. They checked-in and we had breakfast in a fast food restaurant since their flight will be at 10pm. We talked about a lot of things and deep in my mind, I wanted to pause time, I didn’t want to look at my watch. I didn’t want them to go.
9pm, everything went slow. We said goodbye to each other, they hugged each one of us. Seeing them leave made us feel sad, this time, it’s hard to look at the bright side. If only we could stop them from leaving and beg them to just stay, WE WILL.
9:30am, I went straight to our apartment, crying like a 4-year old kid and started to reminisce memories, adventures and unplanned outings and sleepovers. It’s hard. That was how it felt when you’re so close with people; but no, I didn’t regret anything. Maybe the blues, I felt right now, will mend soon. “Time heals”, they said.
But there’s one thing I regretted most, it was the day when they invited me to their farewell party, if I should’ve went there, I could precisely say all the things I wanted them to hear and perhaps to say thank you for all they have done.
Now, their currently in Cebu, to visit in our church’s temple for the last time. This Thursday, they will leave Philippines to begin a new journey in Canada.
“I was a SPED-FL (fast learner) student since Grade 1 to Grade but when I was on the fourth grade, I have not taken the entrance examination; as the school’s rule specified, whether you fail the exam or haven’t taken the exam, you will automatically be sent on the non-sped section. That’s it─ I became a non-sped student for a year. New environment, new teacher, new classmates and new books (different from what we have in our previous curriculum). Who would have ever thought that year would be one of the worst years of my life?
I became a consecutive top student in the class but everything seemed to be very difficult. Our adviser bullied me. She let me sit in the first row of the room, alone─ others were looking at me, it’s either they feel sorry about my situation or glad, I did not know. She did that because she thought I was responsible for a particular mistake, even though not. She spread the false news in the school. She said I was foolish, fucked up, a shit and did not deserve to stay in the campus. I was afraid, afraid of what other people would think of me, afraid of my parents’ reaction if they heard the issue (as if they care) and most of all, I became afraid if she will remove me on the top list but luckily she didn’t.
After that year I promised to myself that I will do my best to go back in the SPED-FL curriculum and thank God, I did.”
We often forget the memories we had when we’re on grade school─ possibly because we realized in ourselves that we’re still young that time, we only think of playing after class and do not even care whether we smell bad or not; or maybe because we chose to be alone while others were eating lunch with their friends or maybe those days were like whirlpools and tornadoes, so hair-raising, terrible and sad. Just like what happened to me, I was bullied by almost all of my classmates in elementary (perhaps they’re not aware that they did something that broke my whole self before because I did not even confront them in the first place), they made fun of me, my face, my smile, my gestures, EVERYTHING; while others were like audiences, they laugh whenever they want, scream and clap their hands like they won the biggest prize in a game show. I was devastated. What happened long time ago, made me strong as a person and helped me to pursue my dreams in life.
In the 28th of May 2017, my elementary classmates in SPED-FL, scheduled an ordinary get together at one of the newest KTV Station in Panabo City─ STATION 8. At first, I hesitated to go because I thought they will again, make fun of me like the old times. Part of me wanted to go and the other said stay. The first reason that made me pursue my spirit to join was because of curiosity, I was curious of their looks or how different they are now and second; I didn’t feel like staying in our house. I was afraid and excited at the same time.
June 3, Saturday. We decided to meet in our former school, Panabo Central Elementary School. Five of us met there; me, Nicole, a High School musical aficionado who easily get angry every time I steal her pink pencil; Kirstel, a famous math wizard who presided all these, and yes, she have the qualities a true leader should possess; Joanna, the girl who’s really fond of science, everything about science and history, I guess; and Edwin, my co-performer when we were chosen by our school to compete to the regional level of Balagtasan and surprisingly he has now a girlfriend and A NEW CAR!
While waiting for the others, we happened to see our former adviser. She was shocked. She kept on asking questions about how our life in college was, what brought us there and what courses we took. We started laughing and laughing. Reminiscing the memories; whether good or bad, nonsense or with sense and important or not.
After an hour, the 5 of us went to STATION 8 by riding Edwin’s car. It was fun. Many things had changed. We’re all matured which is actually a good thing.
At exactly 6:30pm, our 5 more classmates arrived, and we began to sing, eat and talk about different situations. There were many changes, Julie, stopped studying because she was already satisfied with her work and she travels everywhere; Charlyn, we always meet each other at school because she also studies in USeP; Iam, one of the smartest man I’ve ever witnessed way back grade school ; Val, was also there, nothing’s new, he’s still the tallest among us and Leica, Val’s ex was also there, she was very busy that time yet she did her best to attend the get together. 8PM, we ate dinner at Panabo Food Centrum. We also visited Jan, our classmate, because he was grieving for the death of his Grandmother, we stayed there for 30 minutes and we went home.
The best thing happened to me that day was that, I was able to face my fear.
In order to conquer our fears, all we need to do is to face it. It’s hard, yet it is the only solution for us to grow.
I will tell you the list of how the previous and this week became the worst week that I’ve ever had, probably this blog post talk about decision-making and saving money, which are both essential in the process of endurance (or survival). I’ve witnessed people who were really sad like it’s the end of everything, how they regret and how their lives were changed because of wrong decisions or choices. However, I have also seen persons who neglected the importance of saving money, and because of that; of course, they were unable to supply their own needs (and wants) which led them to get loans and finances or borrow money from their friends, parents, or anyone who they think could support them with their difficulties. They did not know, in the very first place, that to lend money from others would just add-up to whatever their burdens are─ they were not able pay their debts.
Isn’t it ironic? I already have these ideas that the two factors mentioned above were all noteworthy yet I didn’t even apply it in my own self? Okay, so here’s the list
1. Thursday, May 25, 2017. It was May 8 when I found out that my iPhone’s cord was not functioning well, so I decided to buy a new one; but because I did not have budget to purchase the safest cord for this sensitive phone, that actually costs 200 pesos, I temporarily bought a cheap cord from Juicy, a close friend. It worked. I used it for about 16 days. In May 25, my phone’s battery percentage drained fast (like 100% to 55% in just 2 minutes) and I was thinking that it has something to do with the cord. I became paranoid. I immediately went to Davao (because I was in our province that time, you know─ vacation!), bought the safe and new one, and went back to our province. That quick. I consumed 350 pesos in one day; but, buying a new cord did not solve the issue in this f─ phone.
2. Friday, May 26 2017. Every time I use the camera or cellular data, it (the phone) randomly shutdown which annoyed me very much. I researched in web as to how am I going to troubleshoot this phone and asked Apple Support several queries and they said restoring or resetting the phone will resolve the issue. I went to setting, and f─ I could not reset my phone because I enabled the restriction setting about 2 months ago and forgot the 4-digit code. I had several attempts yet I could not remember the code.
3. Monday, Morning, May 29, 2017. Before I went to Davao, I decided to buy a new pair of sandals, the same brand with the old one, Birkenstock. At exactly 10 minutes, I finally found the best pair and it cost 229 pesos. I was happy, I had finally expended my money into one of the most vital things I need. Heading to Davao, I confidently wore my sandals, heads up and proud.
At night, I realized, what I did was a wrong decision. Yes, I checked the sandals, whether it fits to my skin color or not; whether I will look rich whenever I wear it or not (lol). I did not check whether it is durable or not, whether it has a good quality or not and whether it is fake or not. The sole of the sandals started to get worse.
4. Monday, Evening, May 29, 2017. I and my friend, Phillip, went to Roxas Night Market to have dinner. After all, there are a lot more things that worth a celebration. But again, going there was a wrong choice. I did not notice that I was spending my money with foods, and drinks and ice cream which were not included in my budget plan. Yes, I know and understood that there are more possible ways to celebrate without spending much money with just foods.
5. Tuesday, May 30, 2017. The main reason why I went to Davao early was because one of our teachers (don’t know if she’s really a teacher or not) told us that she’ll let us view our grades and to watch movie with my friends. We waited her for almost 3 and a half hour, yet she did not show up ; a text message from that teacher popped-up into our class mayor’s phone telling that she’ll not make it today. I was disappointed. Really. DISAPPOINTED.
These experiences made me upset and tired at the same time. I have learned a lot and hopefully, these things would sink in the deepest part of my brain for the next time.
The last time I received a gift was on April 2016 when a colleague of mine gave me three G-tech sign pens and I felt glad because she knew me well─ I badly want pens.
I began to value and appreciate pens and mechanical pencils after Doc/Bro. Remel Gepaya, a close friend, a dentist and teacher at the same time, introduced me to the realm of pens which I never thought would become one of my interests up until now. In fact, we have much in common.
During that moment, he presented images and videos about pens in the web, and I was honestly flabbergasted because he had identified almost all the names and terms of each pen; from Fountain Pens, Jet Pens, Montblanc Pix Blue Ballpoint, down to Uni Koro Toga, a mechanical pencil. In fact, he has a lot of these which made me jealous (but we’re still friends tho haha).
Starting that day, I became more fascinated in collecting these stuffs, not because I want to do whatever pastime he was doing but because I surprisingly fell in love with this hobby, and it became part of my life as well.
In the 28th day of May 2017, last Sunday of the month, he whole-heartedly gave me two of his collections. I didn’t ask nor beg for these.
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He will move to Canada, together with his wife Catherine Gepaya, who also became one of my closest friends among all the members in our branch, on the second week of June and perhaps, this was the reason why he gave me these, to leave a remembrance of him─ a memory.
I heard that they will stay there for 5 years and it’s a long long long time.
So, I’m relishing my 1-week summer vacation─ no, just vacation. And I’m going to spend this entire week with myself, of course, dad’s working and mom as well. No daytrips and no volleyball games, because my church friends were all busy with their own lives.
Apparently, I’m alone. Yes. ALONE.
Yet, I love being alone. Perhaps few of you feels the same way I feel, but being alone for me, means freedom, freedom to do whatever I want; being alone, at some point means being fearless. Being alone means being you; it is when you can openly unmask your whole self, because you’re not afraid and it is when you can scream aloud, feel sad and cry, and feel happy; it depends on what you feel.
But being alone in our house is different. I mean, the atmosphere is different. I didn’t know what exactly bothers me, like something deep inside is going to burst.
As I watched the living room, I have seen imaginary individuals, and happenings. All of a sudden, I remembered memories, memories that changed and ruined our lives. I remembered choices, choices that made this life a disaster. I have seen people, people whom I assumed would always be there whenever I needed them.
That thursday night, I tried to talk to the Man up there, seeking comfort; because I could no longer help myself thinking about all these. I want to embrace Him so tight, to follow His steps─ to be with Him. I want to die. No, I didn’t say that for you to pity me nor to think about the possible options I could do. I did say that because that’s what I felt. I know, it’s hard. It’s like I’m always sinking and drowning. And it’s sad.
If you’re one of those people whom I shared my problems with, thank you. Thank you for lending me your ears, thank you for the short-term relief, for making me glad and for accompanying me. I appreciate your presence, your words, and your care, and your help.
I will try my best to fight and to always look at the bright side of everything.
Year 2015, when I first joined cheerleading or commonly known as cheerdance. I didn’t exactly remember what led me to confidently include my name on the list that day, perhaps because I joined a mini-cheerdance competition way back in high school, that’s it.
The training was really tough─ back-breaking (to be exact); it is different from what I’ve expected. I thought, that we’re just going to jump up and down, dance and cheer, and yell our squad’s name to the crowd but it’s actually not; we did stunts, jumps, lifting, splits, and tumbling. I needed to maintain my flexibility, strength, versatility, trust and bravery to lift my flyer. It was very hard for us to manage our time that moment; after our class which exactly ended at 5pm, we will proceed to our 6-hour practice.
Unexpectedly, I became one of the bases in our team, at first I thought I could not achieve any of the stunts being fed to us by our coach, but when I began to think that I should and need to do my best, I unknowingly did all of those; though it’s not perfect but at least, I performed it well.
Training location: Buhangin Gym
This time our LC didn’t give their full support; so we made our own props, hand in hand.
An hour of rest
Featuring the best flyers: Pamela Canete and Mel Rosse
Featuring: Doreen and Pam
3pm, Sunday Practice
St. Jude, Buhangin Davao City
How positive these people are.
I tell you, flyers, really need to sacrifice their legs (sometimes their bases put much strength in gripping.
For the 3-month rehearsals, I have built new circles; which made me feel less alone and became happier. Many people asked me why I complicate life in the university, why I joined in the competition, why I sacrificed my time and studies, and what kept me doing this thing even if it took me an hour to go home feeling exhausted and drained?
All I said to them was:
“I learned to love cheerleading; to create memories, to learn new skills and to build determination, and bravery.”
We placed 4th in this competition, and still, we are proud to represent the College of Education.
Soar high, Falcons!
On the year 2016, I have joined two (2) cheerdance competitions. The Intramurals 2016 of our school which held last October 2016 and the Milo Cheerdance Competition held at SM Lanang, Davao City.
Falcons Pep Squad 2016: TRAIN TO BUSAN
This is one of my most loved concepts ever! It was inspired by the famous horror-action movie in South Korea, wherein there were millions of zombies spread throughout their places. It took me a month to decide whether to join that year’s competition or not, because we have many requirements to comply.
But at the end of the day, I joined and it became one of the most memorable events in my whole life. I have met new people from the day and evening class students and we became friends, up until now.
During our practice.
Featuring: Dale, Courtney, Jermon, Anggie and me.
After all the hardships.
Ecoland Gym, Sunday Practice.
While on our way to rehearsals.
We placed 3rd.
The most essential thing happened that night was, we won the hearts of the audience, and we made them enjoy the show as well.
Hello there Ela!
Student by day, Zombie by night.
This is me.
Analito, Melard and Ella.
We looked exactly like real zombies.
USeP Jaguars All-Star Pep Squad 2016: MILO CHEERDANCE COMPETITION
THE BEST EXPERIENCE─ This was not in line with our school’s event, the competition held at SM Lanang wherein we brought University of Southeastern Philippines’ name; and this time as well, the USEP JAGUARS ALL-STAR PEP SQUAD was founded. The squad were composed of students from different colleges in the university.
Our concept this time was BUDOTS, a famous tribal dance founded by Bisaya. We only had a 3-day practice and out of our expectation we brought home the bacon, we won the competition; which led us to become very close with each other; those sleepless nights were all paid off.
The cheerdance journey that I had were really unforgettable. This sport helped me to value bravery, determination, to use my strength, open myself for more friendships and memories, and become more passionate in everything I do.
Courtney with his first base (me)
Dale and the best coach ever!
Now, that I’m an upcoming fourth-year student, I have two questions in mind:
First, “Would I still join the 2018’s Intramurals, knowing that I need to take this year seriously to pursue my main goal why I studied in USeP?”
I have witnessed how busy our higher years at the moment, they took most of their time making lesson plans and instructional materials for their demonstrations; or
Second, “Would I still join the 2018’s Intramurals, to gain more experiences since it’s my last year in the University?”
I slept 4 o’clock in the morning, and didn’t mind the fact that we will have our first meeting for our Afro-Asian theatrical play at 8am in our college’s lobby, not even afraid with the piso–per-minute policy, which served as penalty to those who will come late. I did not intentionally slept at that exact time, it’s just I couldn’t sleep; I was bothered, and worried, I mean there were lots of stuffs running inside my mind these past few days and I didn’t know why it had to come back frequently. I was distracted, unable to focus─ overthinking.
I woke up, 5 in the morning. Obviously, I just had an hour of sleep, and it was not enough; it feels like I’m carrying the world, so heavy. I took a bath and wore my clothes, watched myself in the mirror and smiled. While on my way to school, I bought a candy, and I unexpectedly read a message from its wrapper telling, “Kaya mo yan!”
So I was encouraged to start the day right.
But in the afternoon everything dramatically changed, life’s truly unfair. No matter how I push myself to think positively, there will still sudden misfortunes that will arise. I didn’t talk to anyone. Perhaps, my school was one of the factors why I became like this. There were lots of requirements to comply and fees to pay. We also have loads of tasks to do.
I have been asking myself why, why I existed? Am I just here to receive all the dilemmas of the world? Of other people? Of my own family? I need answers, answers that would satisfy me.
There were times that I think it’s better to jump off a 15-story building to stay away from these shits, to feel comfort, to ease the pain and to feel contentment. Physically and emotionally, and mentally, I’m exhausted. This isn’t normal.